Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1897

(Name from)

Empire Palace of Varieties

Latest 1910

(Name to)

21 Market Square


Empire Palace of Variety


Changed name from the "Phoenix Tavern" in 1897 when it was somewhat rebuilt in 60 days.


Empire Palace of Varieties 1901

Above picture taken from Dover Standard Directory 1901.

Empire Palace 1910

Above photo, circa 1910, kindly supplied by Paul Wells.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 4 May, 1900. Price 1d.


George Iverson was charged with assaulting and obstructing P.S. Baker while in the execution of his duty in the Market Square.

Police Sergeant and Market Inspector Baker said that on Friday at 4 p.m. he was called to the “Empire Music Hall” to put out two women who were drunk. One had a boy five years old. One woman went out and the other he put out, and while inducing her to go away she became troublesome. When as far as Last Lane defendant appeared and said, “You leave that woman alone.” Witness replied, “is she your wife?” He said, “You leave her alone.” Witness asked if he knew the woman, thinking he might take her away. Defendant then pushed him away. Witness told him that if he interfered he would take him in custody. Defendant said, “I've been a Policeman too, and know what I am about.” Police Constable Brown then turned up and they took him to the Station.

The defendant said, “I live at 53, Longfield Road. I am a railway servant in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company. I was off duty, and walking home when I saw a lady being roughly used by Inspector baker in Market Passage. She had her arms up in the air. So I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I think you might use her a little gently.” With that I was seized by the collar by the Sergeant, who tore my shirt and waistcoat. I turned the corner and met P.C. 52, and was taken into custody. On the road to the Station I was subject to rough treatment. I should like to deny that I pulled Inspector Baker away from the woman. Afterwards I discovered that the woman was drunk and had been ejected by P.C. Baker from a public house.

Prisoner was told that he ought to have found out before he interfered, and was fined 5/- and 7/- costs, or 14 days in default.


From the DXpress 8 November 1901 page 5 column 5. From Lorraine Sencicle.

East Kent Bankruptcy Court re: Jacob Engleman

The statement of affairs under the failure of Jacob Engleman, of the Empire Palace of Varieties, Market Square, Dover, licensed victualler, shows total unsecured liabilities amounting to 1,196 18s 10p., and net estimated assets are returned at 459 1s 6d, thus showing a deficiency of 737 17s 4d. The causes of the failure are stated to be 'Bad trade in consequence of the fine weather and the absence of troops from Dover.' The receiver The receiving order was made on the debtors petition, and he was adjudicated bankrupt by his own application. The Official Receiver in the course of his observations, states that the bankrupt commenced business about 20 years ago, at Birmingham, as a clothier taking over the business formerly carried on by his mother. He relinquished the business in 1894, and after payment of his liabilities he had no funds , and then he obtained employment as an under-manager at the Phoenix Music Hall, Dover. In the early part of December 1895, the bankrupt became the tenant of the Lion Hotel, Elizabeth Street, Dover. The valuation, which amounted to 100, was paid by instalments. After carrying on business successfully for upwards of three years, he gave up the house, and obtained a valuation of 120. In June 1899 bankrupt entered into partnership with Edward Randall, to carry on the Empire of Varieties. The fixtures and effects were all purchased 'all at' for 1000, of which 400 was provided by the bankrupt, and the remainder by Randell. On the 6 march 1900, Randell (who had absconded) was adjudged a bankrupt, and his estates administered on the Bankruptcy Court. Bankrupt acquired Randell's share in the partnership effects from the trustees of the bankruptcy for 400. This sum was borrowed, and is still outstanding. The Empire Palace of Varieties is held under the lease for seven years from 12 June 1899, at a rent of 150 per annum. The lease is deposited as security for a loan of 400. In addition to this sum, the a statement of affairs shows upwards of 3265 as due for the money lent.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 12 May, 1905. Price 1d.


An application was granted for an extension from 11 to 12 on the occasion of a Hospital benefit at the "Empire Music Hall."


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 June, 1905. Price 1d.


Mr. M. McCarthy applied for a licence permitting his daughter to perform at the "Empire Palace of Varieties," she being 11 years of age. The licence was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 January, 1907. Price 1d.


A licence was granted to Mr. Johnstone for three of his children to take part in a musical performance at the “Empire” this week.

The Chairman: Do they do any thought reading?

Mr. Johnstone: No.


From the Dover Express, Friday 10 December, 1909.

At the Dover Police Court on Friday the Magistrates (the Mayor, Mr. J. L. Bradley, Mr. W. Bradley, Mr. W. J. Bussey, and F. G. Wright) the "Empire" was granted an occasional licence at the Town Hall for the Dover Amalgamated Friendly Society concert next Thursday.


After 1910 this changed name to the "Palace and Hippodrome Southern."



CHEVERS J E 1899 (Chevers' Palace of Varieties proprietor) Kelly's Directory 1899

RANDALL Edward 1900

ENGELMAN Jacob 1900-01 (age 43 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1903

MOWLL E Worsfold (Official receiver) Mar/1902 Dover Express

MALTBY Thomas Flower Mar/1902-Jan/1906 Dover Express (Of Sandgate, music hall proprietor)

WRAITH Percy George Jan/1906+ (Licensed Victualler's Manager) Dover Express

WOOD Mr Aug/1906+ Dover Express

HOLT Frederick 1907-09 end

WOOD William George Dec/1910

WILSON Alfred Bertrand Charles (Secretary to Alfred Leney) Dover Express


Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-